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October 12, 2023 | Updated on: May 7, 2024 | Reading time 9 minutes

What is Data Security Posture Management (DSPM)?

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Director of Support

In the past 20 years, the number of data compromises has been steadily growing in the US, reaching its peak in 2021. These incidents impacted both businesses and individuals whose data was exposed and prompted countries worldwide to consider more strict legislation governing data security. Correspondingly, the cybersecurity market introduced a variety of new methodologies and tools to provide businesses with better data control. Data security posture management was one such solution.

What is Data Security Posture Management (DSPM)?

The term Data Security Posture Management was first coined by Gartner in 2022 in relation to a software application. Gartner said that DSPM should provide visibility into the ways data has been used, its location, access, and security posture. Later cybersecurity experts broadened the scope of the term to include data security methodologies.

Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) is a system that focuses on the company’s capabilities to predict, prevent, and respond to cyber incidents related to data (breaches, leaks, and exposure), i.e., its security posture.

The key components of DSPM include

Experts define four main components of Data Security Posture Management:

Data Inventory

An organization needs an inventory that will encompass all its data and systemize it according to multiple criteria. Every new piece of data must be added to the catalog and categorized. It will enable organizations to answer the question: where is our data?

Data flow mapping

Once an organization has inventoried the data, it needs to identify and analyze potential compromise risks—for example, improper sharing settings or excessive permissions of a risky application.

This component answers two important questions: who has access to our data, and how do they use it?

Data Risk management

After outlining all possible risks, organizations should build a risk management system to prevent major data incidents. It includes tools, policies, and practices. For example, you can disable sharing files outside your organization.

Data incident detection and response

The final component of Data Security Posture Management requires a system of incident response. It includes the tools and practices for incident discovery, the response plan, and the recovery measures and capabilities.

How to build an efficient DSPM?

Learn how to create and implement an efficient DSPM in your company.

Analyze your data management

In a large company, a data management system has probably been implemented. You can leverage its resources to build your DSPM, e.g., for data discovery.

Discover and classify data

Corporate data is usually scattered around endpoints (computers and mobile devices), data centers (on-prem and cloud), and applications (coop tools, inboxes, etc.). You need to inventory all your data and all the places your data is stored. We suggest creating a process or purchasing a tool that will catalog your data automatically.

Next, categorize your data by its sensitivity and identify the security configurations for each data category. For example, there’s a drastic difference in the security requirements of a product backlog and a corporate logo.

Assess data risks

At this stage, you need to identify all the possible security risks that your data may be exposed to. For example, with the rise of work-at-home practices, your files may be on an employee’s personal laptop or private Google Drive.

Create new data policies

Outline the new policies for storing, accessing, and managing data based on your identified data risks. For example, create a rule that forbids storing data in a public cloud. Identify how you will impose these policies and ensure that everyone follows them. For example, you can use DLP policies in Microsoft Office 365.

Lay down the Incident Response Plan

No matter how good your defense is, it will always be breached. An Incident Response plan will help you act immediately and minimize the impact of a cyber event.

Identify and acquire resources

Organizations must understand what resources are necessary for implementing Data Security Posture Management. The resources include budget, employees in charge, and tools. Once you’ve analyzed your state-of-art in data security posture, you can outline both available and lacking assets and define ways to obtain them.

Empower your DSPM with SpinOne

SpinOne is an all-in-one SaaS security solution for Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.

What is Data Security Posture Management (DSPM)?
Data Security Posture Management

Its functionality can enhance your Data Security Posture Management.

  • Data access monitoring and control
  • Abnormal logins and data behavior
  • Ransomware protection
  • Application risk assessment and control
  • DLP policies

Try SpinOne


What are the benefits of implementing DSPM?

The benefits of implementing DSPM include better visibility, detection, and response to data-related cyber incidents.

Are there best practices for implementing DSPM?

The best practices for implementing DSPM include data mapping, risk assessment, data policies, and incident response plans.

How can I get started with DSPM?

We suggest beginning with mapping and cataloging your data.

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Director of Support

About Author

Nick Harrahill is the Director of Support at Spin.AI, where he leads customer support, success, and engagement processes.

He is an experienced cybersecurity and business leader. Nick’s industry experience includes leading security teams at enterprise companies (PayPal, eBay) as well as building programs, processes, and operations at cyber security start-ups (Synack, Elevate Security, and Spin.AI).

Credentialed in both cyber security (CISSP) and privacy (CIPP/US), Nick has managed teams focused on vulnerability management, application security, third-party risk, insider threat, incident response, privacy, and various facets of security operations.

In his spare time, Nick enjoys trail running and competing in ultra-marathons, camping, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors.

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